Postmodernism

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Topics for Further Study

(Literary Movements for Students)

How have the ideas of disintegration, instability, and/or textual uncertainty (in the postmodern use of these terms) had an effect on you? Describe the issues and put into your own context a narrative describing how you perceive things to be different because of these ideas. Speculate on how things might have been different had these ideas not made an impact on you.

Take your favorite piece of literature and deconstruct it. Show, to the best of your understanding, what the author might have meant in the text. Then show how that meaning might be quite a different thing. Use a short text for this exercise.

Take a standard text and do a “special” reading of it. For example, examine a text from a feminist perspective, or from a Marxist perspective, or from a special point of view of your own choosing.

Critique your favorite television program showing the postmodern features of an individual show or of a series of shows. To ensure analytical accuracy, videotape the shows you examine. Be specific in your discussion, explaining in detail how the chosen features are postmodern and how they contribute to the success (or failure) of the show or shows in question.

Postmodernism has had an important role in the development of the MTV phenomenon. Select some music videos and describe them in terms of a postmodern aspect (social/economic influence, feminism, instability of texts regarding meaning, blurred lines between the “real” world and the “fictive” world in the video, etc.). Videos from the very early days of MTV might be compared with those now being broadcast, showing the postmodern trends in the development of videos. In your discussion be specific in the conclusions you derive from your study. Put these conclusions into theoretical terms.